DE Red Bryant will reach free agency after avoiding the franchise tag.
photo by Rod Mar / Seattle Seahawks
by Curtis Crabtree
Monday was the deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag on players eligible to hit free agency later this month.
Twenty-one teams across the league slapped the tag on a player to keep control of a player set to hit the market. Seattle was one of the 11 teams that elected not to use the designation.
With Seattle agreeing to a four-year deal with RB Marshawn Lynch on Sunday evening, the probability the Seahawks would use the tag went considerably down. The Seahawks could have applied the tag to DE Red Bryant, who is probably the team's highest priority free agent now that Lynch has signed, but the salary cap number for a defensive end is pricey at over $10 million this year.
Bryant is an important piece of Seattle's defense but the price tag for defensive ends comes from the premium on pass rushers. Bryant isn't a pass rusher. Even though he plays on the end of the defensive line, what he is asked to do is more comparable to a defensive tackle instead.
So instead of franchising him at that high a number, Seattle has elected to allow Bryant and 15 other players reach unrestricted free agency, which begins on March 13. Seattle still has exclusive negotiating rights with Bryant until he becomes a free agent next week.
Marijuana charges dropped against LB Leroy Hill
A week ago news came out that LB Leroy Hill, along with his girlfriend, had been arrested in the early morning hours of Feb. 25 for possession of marijuana in Atlanta, Ga.
Atlanta police officers had obtained a search warrant after police dogs had detected the smell of marijuana emanating from Hill's apartment. Upon entry they found partially-smoked suspected marijuana “blunts” in plain view, as well as marijuana residue.
The two were arrested for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and taken into custody.
According to a report from Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune, the charges against Hill have been dropped. Per Williams, Hill and his girlfriend both immediately submitted to urine tests immediately following the arrest that came back negative.
"This morning the charges against Leroy Hill Jr. were completely dismissed because he was innocent of having any knowledge that trace amounts of marijuana were in his apartment," Hill's agent Edward T. M. Garland of the Atlanta law firm Garland, Samuel & Loeb told Williams.
"He took a urine test immediately following his arrest and it showed that he was negative for any drugs in his system, as did the young woman who was with him."
"Because he was innocent, the charges were dismissed."
Hill is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.
Seahawks host OL Frank Omiyale on visit
Former Chicago Bears OL Frank Omiyale visited the Seahawks on Monday.
Omiyale has been in the league since 2005 but didn't start to see substantial playing time until 2008 with Carolina. Omiyale signed with Chicago in 2009 and start 31 games for the Bears in the last three seasons.
Omiyale can play tackle or guard and could be a possible depth option for Seattle. With the knee injury to T James Carpenter potentially affecting his early season availability and OL Paul McQuistan set to become a free agent, Seattle could be looking for another versatile backup.
Omiyale played under offensive line coach Tom Cable while with Atlanta in 2006 and would be at least a little familiar with Cable's zone blocking system.
Omiyale was released by Chicago on March 1 making him a free agent.